JULY REVIEW

The horses have been in fantastic form this month as we added 21 winners to our tally, enjoyed further Group 1 success with the brilliant Alcohol Free and closed in on the £3 million prize-money mark.

FIRST-CLASS FILLIES

Alcohol Free is now a quadruple Group 1 winner, producing an exceptional performance to land the July Cup.  Last year’s Coronation and Sussex Stakes heroine is both top-class and incredibly versatile, reversing the Royal Ascot form to beat the 1-2-3 from the Platinum Jubilee and give her owner Jeff Smith a second win in the race, 38 years on from Chief Singer’s success in 1984.  She was also providing Rob Hornby with a second domestic Group 1 win, a day after winning the Falmouth.

Top class both as a sprinter and over a mile, Alcohol Free ran tremendously well in defeat at the Qatar Goodwood Festival on her latest outing, finishing third to Baaeed in her bid for a repeat win in the Sussex Stakes, despite encountering a troubled passage as the race developed.  We are very fortunate to have her and hopefully she can go on to further success in the months ahead.

Further Group success followed at the end of the month, with Sandrine returning to winning ways in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes for owner/breeder Kirsten Rausing.  Sandrine was right up there with the best last term, winning the Albany and Duchess Of Cambridge before reaching the frame in both the Lowther and Cheveley Park.  Fifth on her return in the 1000 Guineas, she had finished third in the Falmouth on her latest outing and it’s fair to write that this Group 2 success was very well-deserved.  She travelled beautifully and picked up strongly when asked by David Probert, the pair getting the better of last year’s winner Kinross.   The Prix de la Foret looks an exciting option for her later this term.

The girls have been in fine form, Achelois another filly from the yard to gain black-type success with a ready victory in the Listed Lyric Stakes at York under David Probert.  A really tough and game filly, she had just been touched off in the John Smith’s Cup at the course a fortnight earlier, so it was fantastic to see her return to form in the colours of the Thurloe For Royal Marsden Cancer Charity syndicate.  She is better than ever this year and deserves her chance at Group level.

SUMMER SUCCESSES 

Mick and Janice Mariscotti’s Coltrane gave us all a day to remember when landing the Ascot Stakes last month and it was fantastic to see him follow up that success with a 10-length romp in the Coral Marathon at Sandown Park at the beginning of the month.  He has developed into a very high-class stayer and we were certainly getting excited as he loomed up travelling powerfully in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup on his latest outing!  Though he was ultimately unable to match the exceptional front trio of Kyprios, Stradivarius and Trueshan in the final furlong, it was a wonderful effort nevertheless and there are more big days to come.

Soul Stopper shed his maiden tag at Salisbury in June and followed up in great style at Chester on what was his handicap debut, winning with plenty to spare under P J McDonald.  Racing in the same colours as his owner Sheikh Obaid’s four-time Group 1 winner Postponed, he looks a smart stayer in the making.

Al Marmar was having his first start since a gelding operation, and just his second outing of the year, when getting his head in front where it matters at Ascot, winning by the minimum margin under Hollie Doyle.  He has since run with great credit in defeat at Newmarket and looks a progressive type for his owners Al Shaqab Racing.    Similar comments apply to the King Power-owned Mercurius Power, who wasn’t winning out of turn when scoring at Sandown Park in mid-month and followed up with a close second there seven days later.  Australian Angel was another to win at Sandown Park this month, winning with a bit to spare for David Probert in the colours of George Strawbridge in what was quite a valuable three-runner handicap.  She has now won three of her last five starts and looks firmly on the upgrade.

Scampi has plenty of experience under his belt but looked better than ever when scoring at Epsom under Will Carver.  He ran well in a couple of Racing League handicaps last term and looks an ideal candidate for them again this year.

City Streak belatedly shed his maiden tag with a wide-margin win at Wolverhampton under Jason Watson for owner Lord Blyth, and he is another to have since run very well at Chester, finishing second in a competitive handicap.  He is getting the hang of things and there should be more to come.

We had a trio of three-year-old winners on the same day, starting with the promising Neandra, who ran right away with an All-Weather handicap at Lingfield Park under David Probert for owners DJT Racing.  She looks a lovely middle-distance prospect and could head for the Shergar Cup Classic next.  Conflict scored in the Qatar Racing colours at Salisbury on his fourth start.  Josh Bryan kept it simple in front and it was a nice confidence-boosting success for the son of No Nay Never.  Later on the card, the across-the-card treble was completed by Whimsy, who was a game winner in the Kingsclere Racing Club silks, Josh Bryan again excelling from the front.  The KRC enjoyed further success courtesy of Senorita, who made all under David Probert at Ffos Las for a first career win in great style.  She looks capable of rating higher now the penny has dropped. 

Gyenyame had taken time to find his form, but it had won impressively at Kempton Park in June and followed up with another success off 7lbs higher switched to turf, scoring under Rob Hornby at Ffos Las in the colours of Karen Gough.  He has since been sold at the July Sales and we wish his new connections every success.

TOP TWO-YEAR-OLDS

The two year olds have really taken off this month, with several smart winning performances that bode very well for the future.

Chateau had finished a fine fourth in the Windsor Castle, so we were delighted to see him go on to Listed success on his next start in the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury, displaying a sharp turn of foot under William Buick for owner Isa Salman Al Khalifa.  He has since finished a staying-on third in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes and could now head for the Gimcrack.

The Foxes had finished fourth on debut in a red-hot Newbury maiden in May, before a midfield finish in the Chesham, where he just didn’t give his true running.  He has always been held in high regard at home, so it was very pleasing to see him make it third time lucky in the King Power colours in the 7f maiden at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.   An exceptionally well-bred colt and closely related to our former stable star Bangkok, he looks a high-class performer in the making.

A son of Frankel, Chaldean made his second start a winning one with a taking success at Newbury under David Probert.  The Juddmonte-owned colt is a half-brother to four black-type performers (notably Mill Reef winner Alkumait) and looks a classy prospect in his own right.

Clochette was another to get off the mark at the second attempt, making all to justify odds-on favouritism at Ascot in the hands of Andrea Atzeni for owner Sheikh Obaid.  A daughter of No Nay Never, she looks a speedy individual and can cope with the rise in grade next time.

We finished the month with a two-year-old double at Chester, courtesy of Frankness and Tostado. The former, a homebred daughter of Frankel and out of a sister to Group 1 winner Arabian Queen, picked up very strongly entering the straight and was impressive under Rob Hornby.  The latter, also having his second start after a debut fifth at Newmarket just nine days earlier, took a big step forwards to get the better of four previous winners in what looks a strong conditions event.  He was given a well-judged front-running ride by David Probert and found plenty for pressure.  Both are exciting prospects.